Plitvice National Park, Istria, Postojna Caves & Lake Bled - Croatia is as diverse as its landscapes and on this unique tour of northern Croatia and Slovenia we discover places beyond the usual tourist trail such as the enchanting landscapes of Hrvatsko Zagorje and the surrounding green rolling hills, fertile plains and hilltops of the Istrian Peninsula. Along the way we will taste some of the succulent culinary specialties of this region as well as Croatia’s burgeoning wines and award-wining olive oils.

Wonders of Northern Croatia & Slovenia

Land Only Small Group Tour

Duration : 9 DAYSCountry : CROATIA
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Lake Bled © Source: www.slovenia.info / Photographer Franci Ferjan
 Trakoscan Castle © Milan Babić /  Croatian National Tourist BoardTraditional Istrian Pouring Wine SoupPostojna Caves © Source: www.slovenia.info / Photographer B. KladnikPlitvice lakes © Marijo Bandić /  Croatian National Tourist BoardOpatija © Sergio Gobbo /  Croatian National Tourist BoardLjubljana © Source: www.slovenia.info / Photographer B. Kladnik

Plitvice National Park, Istria, Postojna Caves & Lake Bled - Croatia is as diverse as its landscapes and on this unique tour of northern Croatia and Slovenia we discover places beyond the usual tourist trail such as the enchanting landscapes of Hrvatsko Zagorje and the surrounding green rolling hills, fertile plains and hilltops of the Istrian Peninsula. Along the way we will taste some of the succulent culinary specialties of this region as well as Croatia’s burgeoning wines and award-wining olive oils.

Included in the price

  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • LaCity Travel tour leader
  • Driver & mini-coach transportation
  • Local guides in Zagorje, Plitvice Lakes, Opatija & Lake Bled
  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 x evening meals, 1 x lunch
  • Wine & olive oil tasting
  • Included Entrances: Kumrovec village, Trakoscan Castle, Krapina Museum, Rastoke village, Plitvice Lakes entrance, Trsat Castle, Museum of Traditional Masks, Motovun transport to the hill top, Postojna Caves, Predjama Castle, Boat ride to St. Mary's Island & Bled Castle

Day 1: Zagreb

Arrive in Zagreb at your leisure. This evening meet your LaCity Travel tour leader and fellow travellers for a pre-tour briefing. Accommodation: Hotel As (or similar)

Day 2: Zagreb – Zagorje – Zagreb

Travelling north, we explore the enchanting landscapes of Croatia’s hinterland. Today we visit the ethno village of Kumrovec, the birthplace of the Yugoslavian Marshal Josip Broz Tito, the beautiful 13th century Trakoscan castle and the small town of Krapina, the site of the world’s largest Neanderthal discoveries. After a full day of excursions in Hrvatsko Zagorje we return to Zagreb for an evening at leisure. (B) Accommodation: Hotel As (or similar)

Day 3: Zagreb – Plitvice Lakes

From Zagreb we travel to the small town of Samobor. With covered bridges, a trickling brook and a beautifully preserved medieval ambience Samobor feels a world apart from Croatia’s busy capital. We then continue to the enchanting Plesivica region for a wine tasting experience. This afternoon we stop at Rastoke to see the Buk, Hrvoje, and Vilina Kosa waterfalls and walk around the 300-year old village, which offers a unique blend of historical, ethnographic and architectural heritage. This evening we will enjoy dinner and stay overnight in the Plitvice Lakes region. (B, D) Accommodation: Hotel Park Exclusive (or similar)

Day 4: Plitvice Lakes – Opatija

Today is dedicated to exploring the UNESCO protected Plitvice Lakes National Park, a unique area of 16 remarkable cascading lakes. Our local guide will explain how and why the lakes change from an emerald green to an azure blue colour as we walk along on one of the designated marked trails. Our final destination today is Opatija, our base for the next three nights. (B) Accommodation: Milenij Hotel Sv Jacov (or similar)

Day 5: Opatija

Enjoy a morning stroll through the local fruit and vegetable market in Rijeka, then continue to Trsat Castle, which has magnificent views over the Kvarner Bay. After stopping for lunch in the village of Permani, we visit the Museum of Traditional Masks, in Kastav. Our day ends with a tour of Opatija, often called the Croatian Nice for its charms and beauty. (B, L) Accommodation: Milenij Hotel Sv Jacov (or similar)

Day 6: Opatija – Istrian Peninsula – Opatija

Today we explore the magnificent Istrian Peninsula, also known as Terra Magica, for its lush forests, vineyards, olive groves and medieval hilltop villages. Our day begins with a visit to the village of Draguc followed by the captivating hilltop town of Motovun, which is surrounded by vineyards from which the finest Istrian wines are produced. After visiting a local wine maker for a delicious tasting of wine and olive oil, the rest of the day is reserved for wandering along the narrow medieval streets of Rovinj, a picturesque Mediterranean village on the coast. We enjoy dinner together in one of the remote villages near Opatija before returning to our hotel. (B, D) Accommodation: Milenij Hotel Sv Jacov (or similar)

Day 7: Opatija – Postojna Caves – Lake Bled

After crossing the border into Slovenia we visit Postojna Caves, the largest underground cave system in Europe. Aboard the cave train admire the size and splendour of this fascinating underground world, where the geological past is recorded in a unique manner. Next we drive to Predjama Castle, a picturesque and mysterious Renaissance Castle, which has been perched in the middle of a vertical 123-metre high cliff for more than 700 years. Later today we continue our journey to Lake Bled, where we stay for the next two nights. (B) Accommodation: Hotel Triglav (or similar)

Day 8: Lake Bled

Enjoy a relaxing tour of Lake Bled, one of Slovenia’s most picturesque sites. With a small, clear blue lake, an island with a small church in the middle and a medieval castle, the setting is simply beautiful. Today’s excursion includes a boat ride to the island on the lake as well as a visit to Bled Castle, which dates back to the 11th century. The terrace of the castle affords wonderful views of the lake and surrounding mountains - on a clear day you can also see Slovenia’s highest mountain, Mount Triglav. This evening we will enjoy a final farewell dinner together. (B, D) Accommodation: Hotel Triglav (or similar)

Day 9: Lake Bled – Ljubljana

After breakfast we transfer to Ljubljana where our tour ends. (B) [Pick-Up:The tour commences from Hotel As, Zelengaj 2a, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia, at 6:00pm. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.] [Drop-off: 10:00am at Hotel Central, Miklosiceva 9, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia.]

Zagreb

Zagreb

Zagreb is Croatia's capital, as well as being a business centre, university centre, city of culture, art and entertainment. Springing up from two medieval settlements - Kaptol and Gradec, which form the core of the old Upper Town, it is a true Central European city and with the surrounding settlements it has about one million inhabitants. The old Baroque nucleus is woven from old stone streets and buildings, many churches, a magnificent cathedral with modern shops, cosy cafes and restaurants. Have a ride on the Zagreb’s blue tram or walk down the longest street in Zagreb - Ilica, climb up the funicular to the Upper Town and visit the Lotršćak tower, St. Mark's Church, Kamenita vrata, museums and galleries... 
Plitvice lakes

Plitvice lakes

Plitvice lakes - a natural phenomenon is a jewel of inestimable value. Between Mala kapela and Plješivica, in the area where the river Korana has its source, there are 16 large and a lot of small lakes which are connected by small, medium and large waterfalls after which the river Korana continues its journey to Karlovac.  Due to the natural beauty of the waterfalls, cascades, caves and rocks, which offer a beautiful mosaic of colours, sounds and shapes surrounded by high mountain forest terrain, Plitvice lakes and its surroundings were in 1949 declared a National Park, and since 1979 have been under the UNESCO protection. This largest and oldest national park only has electric trains and boats that transport its visitors to various destinations, after which tourists can continue their sightseeing by walking on the narrow paths and trails, crossing wooden bridges that are just above the water surface. 
Opatija

Opatija

Opatija is a fashionable Adriatic tourist resort. In the past it was a summer and winter destination for the Austro-Hungarian nobility because of its mild Mediterranean climate, and today it is a place of luxury hotels, former villas and private summer residences that have been turned into beautiful hotels, wellness centres, congress halls, and swimming pools. Villa Angiolina, one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings, has hosted many famous people. From then until today, Opatija has been a favourite destination for many tourists. The elegant shops, lounge bars and hotel terraces are like in any other fashionable destination in the world. 
Postojna Caves

Postojna Caves

Postojna Cave is a network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers into which experienced guides have accompanied more than 35 million visitors in the last 188 years. It is the largest cave in the “classic karst” and the most visited show cave in Europe. In 1872 railway lines were laid in the cave; electricity arrived in 1884. Today you begin your visit aboard the cave train; the electric lighting allows you to admire the size and splendour of the underground world, where the geological past is recorded in a unique manner. Visitors to the cave are dazzled by a wealth of speleothems: calcite formations, stalactites and stalagmites abounding in a variety of shapes, colours and age.
Castle Trakoscan

Castle Trakoscan

Castle Trakošćan's cultural heritage is protected as a historical entity, which consists of the castle, the building next to the castle, park and forest park with a lake. Today the castle is one of the few facilities in Croatia with preserved its own constitution, historically closely related to the architectural framework and the life of its owners.
Lake Bled

Lake Bled

Above the surface of Bled Lake rises the only real island in Slovenia. In a glacier hollow there is what remains of an Ice Age limestone moraine covered with trees. The island probably had a special meaning already in prehistoric times and our famous poet Prešeren praised its Slavic sanctuary. One can come to the island by a special boat with a roof, called pletna. This boat, conducted by one rower with two oars, is known only in Bled.
Ljubljana

Ljubljana

With a dazzling hilltop castle as her crown and the emerald-green Ljubljanica River at her feet, Ljubljana is a princess in size. But her pint size conceals a wealth of culture, activities, sights  and good old-fashioned fun that would be the envy of a city twice her extent. And best of all, everything is within such easy reach; a mere stroll or cycle away.
LaCity Travel - Traveller Tips for Croatia    

GEOGRAPHY: Croatia occupies the largest part of the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea which, as a part of the Mediterranean Sea, penetrates deepest into European soil. Croatia’s shoreline and numerous islands enjoy the majority of the Adriatic coastline. The narrow Dinara Mountain Range separates the country’s Mediterranean region from its central European continental part, which spans from the easterly edges of the Alps in the North-West to the shores of the Danube in the East, encompassing the southern part of the fertile Pannonian lowlands.   

VISAS: Croatia, as a member of the Schengen States, does not require Australians citizens travelling to Spain as tourists to obtain a visa prior to arrival. On arrival from a non-Schengen state Australian citizens will be issued with a short period visa, or the common ‘Schengen Visa’, which permits a maximum stay of 90 days over a six month period within the Schengen State area (that is, 90 days over six months in the entire Schengen State area, and not in each individual Schengen state).   

MONEY: 1 AUD = 4.94315 HRK (04/03/2014). The official currency in Croatia is the kuna (1 kuna = 100 lipa). Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices and in the majority of tourist information offices, hotels and campsites.Credit cards (Eurocard / Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners) are accepted in almost all hotels, marinas, restaurants, shops and cash machines.   

ELECTRICITY: Electricity supply in Spain is AC 220 volts, 50 Hertz. Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system. However, most hotels have adaptors for different plugs. Make sure that the electrical appliances you are going to use (computers, mobile phone chargers, shavers…) work at this voltage.   

CLIMATE / WEATHER: There are three climate zones in Croatia: in the country’s continental interior the prevailing climate zone is moderately continental, while the mountain climate prevails at 1200m above the sea level. The areas along the Adriatic coast have a pleasantly mild Mediterranean climate with a large number of sunny days, summers are hot and dry and winters are mild and wet. The average temperatures in the continental interior are: January -2 oC to 0 oC, with somewhat lower temperatures in the mountains; July temperatures reach 20 oC-22˚C, and around 13˚C in the highlands. The average temperatures in the Littoral (Adriatic Coast) are: January 5˚C - 9 oC and July 23°C - 26°C. Winter sea temperature is about 12 oC and it reaches approximately 25 oC in the summer.   

TIME DIFFERENCE: (GMT+01:00) Sarajevo, Skopje, Warsaw, Zagreb   

LANGUAGE: The official language is Croatian (Hrvatski). Ethnic minorities living in Croatia also speak Serbian, Slovenian, Hungarian and Italian. People working in tourism generally speak excellent English, plus some Italian and German.   

FOOD / DRINK: LaCity Travel believes that one of the best ways of experiencing a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. Croatia's location ensures that its food options are phenomenal. With loads of fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables, visitors will be able to taste Greek, Italian and Hungarian influences in many of their meals.   

HISTORY: Welcome to Croatia! A land whose rich cultural heritage is not discovered only from within the walls of numerous museums, galleries and churches, many of which today, as zero category monuments, are included in a part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, but much more in that magical place on the Mediterranean, where even the shortest stroll becomes a journey down a staircase thousands of years old which takes one through a history that is at the same time turbulent, exciting and glorious. Whether walking the intricate grid of narrow white stone streets and alleys, or revelling in the teeming life of the port towns of Istria, Kvarner or Dalmatia, or climbing the green serpentines of Central Croatia to the fairy-like fortresses and castles, each step is an ever fresh experience, made special by the fact that on her territory as many as four cultural circles meet, intertwine and complement one another - west, east, Central European and the southern spirit of the Mediterranean. Croatia is a land of urban culture which numbers more cities than any other part of the Mediterranean.   

SHOPPING: Croatia has an interesting mix of quaint outdoor markets, modern malls and hip clothing boutiques. There's plenty of options that make better souvenirs than the usual lurid magnets or tourist t-shirts. It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.   

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:  
1 January - New Year’s Day 
6 January - Epiphany 
Easter Sunday & Easter Monday 
1 May - Labour Day 
Corpus Christi 
22 June - Anti-Fascist Resistance Day 
25 June - Statehood Day 
5 August - Victory Day and National 
Thanksgiving Day 
15 August - Assumption Day 
8 October - Independence Day 
1 November - All Saints’ Day 
25-26 December - Christmas Holidays    

HEALTH: No jabs are necessary for Croatia. However, vaccinations against hepatitis B and tuberculosis are sometimes advised. Precautions should be taken against tick bites. For anyone planning to spend long periods of time in forested areas, carrying a pair of tick tweezers is advised, and immunisation against tick-borne encephalitis is also a possible precaution. Rabies is present. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.   

SAFETY / SECURITY: Most visits to Croatia are trouble-free, and there is no particular threat of terrorism. Busy tourist areas are prone to petty theft, so it is worth keeping a careful eye on possessions. Outside the normal tourist routes travellers should be aware that unexploded mines might remain, particularly in Eastern Slavonia and the former Krajina. Tourists are urged to be cautious in former conflict areas, including Eastern Slavonia, Brodsko-Posavska County, Karlovac County, areas around Zadar, and in more remote areas of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and stay on known safe roads and areas. If in any doubt check with authorities before setting out into remote areas.   

EMERGENCY: In the event of an accident, phone 112 for help!   

TIPPING: In tourist or upmarket restaurants a tip of 10% will be appreciated, but otherwise it is usual to round up the bill if the service has been good unless a service charge has already been added. Tour guides expect to be tipped. Most other services receive a small tip by rounding up the bill.   

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with LaCity Travel if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.  

Australian Embassy 
Centar Kaptol, 3rd Floor, 
Nova Ves 11, 
10000 Zagreb 
Telephone: +385 1 489 1200 
Fax: +385 1 489 1216
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